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Thursday, February 19, 2009

College Survival Tip #3

Don't ever try to "wing it" on a test.

After years of schooling and years of teaching, most teachers can probably say they have heard it all before. Very little surprises us anymore, and yes we have also learned "to scale tall buildings in a single's superman" or superwoman which ever the case may be. In fact, I know what my students are going to ask me before they even ask me, sometimes word for word. On numerous occasions they have given me a fearful stare as if I have in some way invaded their mind and possessed their soul.

So what is my point? When I design a test, I design that test to measure a student's mastery of a particular subject. For instance, when I design a multiple choice test for a class, I already know what students know and don't know and what confuses them, so of course I construct the test to include those distinct possibilities. Therefore, if you are unsure or confused about the rules, the formulas or the data in any way, I can easily trick you into choosing the answer I want. The correct answer could easily escape you when you guess, but when you "know" the answer, there is nothing I can do to lead you down the wrong path. (Sounds like life too?)

Guessing through a test, quickly reviewing a few minutes before class or cramming everything in an hour the night before may work if you are a "super brain" but if you are like the rest of us you guarantee yourself the "I am going to wing it" experience. Interestingly, the next phase usually involves God, prayer and hope followed by a long wait time......

If you walk out of a test situation feeling apprehensive and anxious to know your results, unsure of yourself and the outcome, then chances are you "winged it" and you are in denial. My intention is not to be mean but to be honest and straightforward so that I may perhaps help you to be more productive and successful. If your actions are ineffective, then why not try another way. If you truly wish to succeed and attain your goals, then make the journey more pleasurable for yourself. Avoid the shortcuts that sometimes lead to failure and disappointment. Instead, embrace the challenges with full force, courage and discipline and quite simply.... just study. :)

"wing it" = to improvise
super brain = savant, genius, prodigy

1 comment:

  1. Great advice :) I know plenty of students that can use it too!!!


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